Thursday, February 26, 2009

Training Day?

In April I ran the Boston Marathon. Which was amazing. And then didn’t stop. I still had a full docket of spring races, which I did well in (even won some money in one). Then summer races started, and I didn’t really think about resting until about July. And then it was kind of too late. I was beyond over trained, over tired, over done. So, I decided to take a kind of sabbatical. In September, I quit paying attention to the clock. I still had some races to finish out the year, but I just ran them to run them. And then all winter long, I didn’t train AT ALL. I still ran almost daily. But just running. No speed work. No hills. No training. And I ate whatever I wanted. From Thanksgiving until, um, still. But I promised myself some rest, so I took it. I promised myself no training until I needed to start training for spring races. And it’s time to start training for spring races! Yea! Joy!

But here’s the thing…. I’m not sure I care so much anymore. I still want to run. Every day. I love it. It’s just part of me, like breathing or peanut butter. But I’m not sure I care so much about racing anymore. Not the actual running of the races. I still want to do that. They’re fun. I like them. But actually racing the races? Not too sure. I sort of feel like I’ve been doing this for a looooooong time, and I’ve pretty much been pushing myself since the start. I kind of just want to run now. Forrest Gump style. Just because I felt like runnin'. I had a taste of it running a few races with Hubby last year, and it was nice!

So, we’ll see. I’m going to stick to the training schedule I’ve got planned for now, without being crazy runner girl about it. And I’ll see what happens when the races come. Some of them are already paid for, so that’s a done deal (even though the hotel I’m supposed to stay in in May is, um, kind of uninhabitable at this point, and I’m really hoping they’re done with whatever it is they’re doing by the time I’m supposed to check in…). But the rest of spring is kind of up in the air. I’ll just keep running and pick the distances (and paces) later.

Just musing on this because it’s totally new territory for me. More to come, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I've Got No Line!

My copy of U2's new album "No Line On The Horizon" arrived today! (I know it technically isn't released until March 3, but Hubby shows his genius in unique and useful ways.) It feels like friends that I love to pieces and haven't seen in awhile have come home. That's how I feel about U2. It goes beyond just liking a band. They are friends (who I will never actually meet which is fine because most likely restraining orders would be taken out. Against me.). Their music has routinely provided joy, comfort, understanding, a laugh, a cry, inspiration... It might have even saved me once or twice.

But, No Line On The Horizon is quite wonderful and full of the grandeur I love in music. And the bass rocks it all the way through (and I'm not just saying that because I have been convinced for years that the only reason Adam Clayton isn't married is because he hasn't met me yet). Right now I am all about the title track. Also pretty big on I Know I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (apparently really long titles are cool right now). And I really just want to go listen to the whole thing again right now.

I have much more I could say, and might later, but I just wanted to share my happiness!

You Capture

Beth's challenge was something you love, flashless. This cried out to the runner and vegetarian in me! It makes me happy right now. I'm odd like that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blood and Guts

So I got the blood test results back from my health screening. They were all out of whack. I knew they would be. And I freaked out about it. I knew I would.

Hubby told me I wasn’t dying. I was just anemic, needed protein, iron, B vitamins. I told him he didn’t know anything and called Best Friend, who is a nurse. She told me I wasn’t dying. I was just anemic, needed protein, iron, B vitamins. I was slightly more prone to think she might not be totally lying to me, but not totally sure. So just for good measure, I showed the info to Acupuncturist. He said I was anemic, needed protein, iron, B vitamins. I'm paying him no matter what so why would he lie to me? (But they did all say the same thing, completely independent of each other, soooo maybe Hubby knows something after all…..).

So…. Apparently I’m anemic, in need of protein, iron, and B vitamins. Which probably goes some way to explain why I’ve been so tired. And cranky. And why running has been such a chore. So, I’ve started taking a multi-vitamin again (long story why I ever stopped). But I was told by Best Friend, Acupuncturist, and Hubby that I had to take a grown up multi-vitamin this time. Not Flintstones, which is what I was taking before (like, a year ago. And when I was 5. Which is perfectly fine. Really.) Did you know grown-up multi-vitamins are the size of your FIST? That you GAG when you try to swallow them? Explain to me, please, WHY I can’t take the Hannah Montana gummy vitamins? It says right on the bottle “adults and children over 4, 100% of just about everything.” But no. I’ll just gag those horse pills down instead.

Also I started drinking orange juice again, (another long story why I stopped.) but with low acid. And revamped the grocery list. Which was harder than it sounds, as most of the iron rich foods are meat, which I don’t eat, or foods that tend to trigger the whole IBS thing. Actually, I downloaded the Chi-Running grocery list, which was pretty good and only needed a little retooling. We’ll see how it all plays out now. I imagine that the whole give-up-chocolate-for-Lent thing will help, too, (since that's been the basis of my diet for about a month now and, while super yummy, is probably not all that nutritionally sound). At least, it will probably help physiologically. Psychologically, it might kill me. But at least I’ll die with plenty of protein, iron, and B vitamins!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Questions of Faith

I have these friends who are trying to have a baby. They've been trying for a few years now. First, with the normal methods. (You know, having sex.) And after six months, she wasn't pregnant, and wasn't happy about it. (Did I mention she's used to getting what she wants?) So she went to a specialist and started taking fertility drugs. Still nothing. So now, they've moved on to invitro fertilization. The first time she was supposed to go through the process, she found out her sister was getting married, and if she'd gotten pregnant then, she'd be too pregnant to travel to the wedding. The week before the rescheduled treatment, she became sick and wound up in the hospital for a week, needing surgery. She just finally had the treatment this past weekend. Now here is my point with all of this. Shortly before this whole process began, these two started stating that they are atheists. (Now, these are two people who were each raised with no faith base in their respective homes. Not to offer excuses, just maybe some kind of reason why they'd make this choice.) And they've been shocked at the troubles they've had getting pregnant.

Now, I'm not a religious person, in the traditional sense. I was raised Catholic. Went to Catholic school and everything. But that didn't really work out for me. Not the belief part, but the methodology. I will forever be grateful for the faith base that Catholicism gave to me, but the practice itself seemed to me to be based on fear and guilt. Not too appealing to me. I knew that I truly believed in a higher power, something greater than myself. God. But I wasn't so sure that this was how I would be able to feel close to God. So I went searching. And in this case I found was I was looking for. Or, at least, I was able to piece together what I needed. Borrowing heavily from Hinduism and Buddhism, with doses of Thoreau, Emerson, George Harrison, and U2, I managed to create something that works for me.

It turns out that my overall goal is to lead a good life. To be a good person. To take as little as possible. To give where possible. To keep life as simple as possible. My day begins with prayer. First the mental and emotional - restating my purpose, giving thanks, asking for help where I need it most - then the physical prayer of yoga and running. I go about my day trying to be ever mindful, ever grateful. It doesn't always work, but I keep working at it. My day ends with meditation and prayer, clearing and opening my mind and heart, and giving thanks. This has grown over the years, and has become the true base and grounding in my life. I've come to understand there is a plan. I might not know the plan. I might not understand the plan. I might not like the plan. But I trust the plan. Even when it's scary to do that. It's not traditional or conventional, as far as faith goes. But it's me. And it's brought me closer to God. Of that I'm sure.

Which, I guess, brings me back to my original point. When I see my friends with all their efforts to have a baby, and I see those efforts being kind of thwarted at every turn, as they profess their atheism.... I guess I just have to wonder if there aren't some other things they're supposed to do before that part of their plan can unfold. Or if maybe there isn't some reason they've not gotten pregnant.

Just some things I've been thinking about lately.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Virtual Chocolate

Wishing everyone love and chocolate this weekend! Check out what my local Chocolate Cafe had to offer:





Remember, if it involves fruit, it's good for you!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'm not really that into Valentine's Day. I'll just say that now. For as long as I can remember, I've dressed in black, head to toe, on the day. And I'm all about taking in as much chocolate as is humanly possible, just on principle. I've been known to buy myself a heart-shaped box of candy and eat it all in one day. Even since I met Hubby. Maybe even more so since I met Hubby. Who sort of forgot that Valentine's Day was happening this year, even though I pointed it out to him. Not that it matters at this point because I really don't feel good and think I'm developing some kind of sickness. Which might really suck because we're supposed to be going to visit family this weekend and I have about 10 hours in the car to look forward to. And won't that be fun with a throbbing headache and upset stomach. Of course, I could wake up tomorrow and feel perfectly fine, which I really hope is the case. Because feeling sick could really screw with my whole eating tons of chocolate thing, which I really need to do because I decided to give up chocolate for Lent (more on that later) so I've got to get as much in now as possible. But, anyway.... What I wanted to share is this:

At work this week, the kids were working with specific pairs of words. Wanting to make sure they were getting the spelling down, I assigned each child a word and told them to write a sentence that included that word, and was related to Valentine's Day in some way. One young lady came up with one of the greatest sentences ever written. Here it is:
When Cupid released his arrow, it left a hole in my shoe.

I only wish it had been me who wrote that.

This year, be your own Valentine and love yourself just a little bit more. At least, that's what I'm working on.

Some Things to See

Soooooo...... There's a new U2 single out. That means new album. And tour. And a whole post dedicated to such things coming soon. But! In the mean time....

Here's the new video:

And maybe the best video ever:

And a tribute to Johnny Cash (who knew about Edge's falsetto):

And here with ABBA:

And the Vertigo show opener:

And one for Hubby:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crush Me

Today at work the topic of discussion was crushes. Those silly little infatuations that create some humor and fantasy in your otherwise ho-hum life. Or at least, in the ho-hum moments of your life. Unless, of course, you have some kind of odd stockpile of information, pictures, videos, books, etc. featuring your crushes that is hidden in your cellar somewhere, of which you never speak or admit publicly, but when everyone is gone or sleeping you sneak down and lust and drool or do "other" things with said stockpile. Then maybe you want to get some help or enter some kind of twelve step program. But I digress. So, we were all chatting about things like who has crushes on whom, longest lasting crushes, oddest crushes. That kind of thing. And it turns out I'm kind of a freak of nature. According to my co-workers. They all have crushes on people based pretty much on what they look like. Apparently, my method is a bit unconventional.

It seems that almost all of my crushes throughout my life have started as words on a page. The exceptions here would be Shaun Cassidy and Donny Osmond. But I was, like, 5, and didn't know how to read yet. And they were so pretty. And sang such great songs, like "Puppy Love" and "Hey Deenie." Andin Shaun Cassidy's case solved mysteries and drove around in a totally rockin' van and walked on the beach with the sun setting in the background and wind blowing his perfectly feathered hair. But I digress again. My crushes have started out as words. Not humans.

I'm a big music fan. So I'll hear a song, and think the words are amazing. And I'll sort of "fall in love" with the person who wrote them. Usually without ever seeing what they look like. Then I seek out more songs by them and wind up loving them just as much as the first, and I think you see where this is going. Eventually I'll see what they look like, but by then I'm hooked, and probably already think they're adorable. Which is how a person winds up with crushes on people like Moby or Michael Stipe (who kind of look alike, now that I think about it....) or Pete Yorn or Don Henley.

Then there's the author category. I read a lot of books. And if I find myself liking multiple books by an author, I seem to sort of develop a kind of crush on them. Again, usually not having any idea what they look like, until I go looking for their website. And by then, again, I'm hooked. And this tends to remain true even after I see pictures, because they write those great books and are so witty in their blogs, how can I not love them? Which is how one winds up with crushes on people like Neil Gaiman or Neal Shusterman (They don't have to be named Neal/Neil, though.) or Henry Rollins or Henry David Thoreau (Who are oddly both named Henry, which, again has nothing to do with it. And let's face it, Thoreau will get his own post at some point here).

And then the oddest category - characters in books. Because again, I read a lot of books. Granted, lots of them are books intended for teens, as that is part of my occupation. But you'd be surprised how great those books can be. And some of those characters are so amazing, you can't help but fall in love. Like, the obvious example, Edward Cullen in "Twilight." (And if you haven't read that series yet, what is wrong with you?) I don't think I was 100 pages in before I wanted him to be my vampire boyfriend. He was written as the perfect tortured romantic male. And then they made the movie, and did you see that guy? I so want him to be my vampire boyfriend! (And he's totally not jail bait because the character is over 700 years old, and Rob Pattinson is in his 20s somewhere). Another example would be Sirius Black in the Harry Potter books (Who is an actual grown up.). Oh, I was head over heels fast for that fella! This goodhearted man, who's been wronged by the system, and just wants to protect his godson and save the world..... what's not to love. And then they cast Gary Oldman in the movies, and OH MY GOD! I think I actually started drooling in the theater. And Dustfinger in "Inkheart." (Again, a grown up.) The brooding, mysterious man from another world who wants more than anything to get home to his family. And then they made the movie and cast Paul Bettany as Dustfinger. Who then proceeded to take off his shirt and play with fire. (I'm just saying.) All those books were read long before there was ever talk of a movie.

Heck, even Captain Jack is all about the character. I can take or leave Johnny Depp. But I love me some Captain Jack. And someone had to write him before he existed.

Even Hubby basically began as a crush on paper! We got to know each other through email before we ever got to know each other in person. I hadn't even really seen him until we'd been "pen pals" for awhile. But I was hooked long before there was a visual. And I wound up married to him. Granted, he is freakishly good looking, but still, it was all about the person first. Really.

So maybe I'm a freak of nature. But I prefer to think of myself as evolved.

Of course, my girl crushes are all about looks, but that's a whole other post.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Post Snow

The snow is lovely and all. But to quote Bono, "After the flood, all the colors came out."

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I bought a baby blanket the other day. I brought it home and put in the drawer with the little romper I bought a while back. They're for my imaginary baby. Because I don't have kids. And there aren't any current plans to have kids. Or any future plans, really. But yet, I bought these things. Even though I don't have kids. And they made me cry a little.

I've always said I didn't want kids. And that was always kind of a misleading statement. What it really meant was "I don't think I'll ever have the opportunity to have kids." I spent the majority of my life really believing I would never get married. For a very long time I truly thought that. I was just never that girl, you know? The girl that the guys were interested in, or actually dated much. Or at all. Like, in high school, I was the one guys called to see if I could find out if the girl they liked liked them back, or to find out what the history homework was. Then in college, I packed my days with school and work, kept my head down and just kind of went about life. And tried not to think about the fact that I wasn't actually dating. Or even really trying to date. And I sort of started to think that maybe that was just the life I would have. I'd be on my own. So I went with that, and made myself a life on my own. And I knew that kind of significantly reduced the odds of having kids. But, that was okay. It was. I liked my life. It was good. There were lots of little ones around that I could "borrow," and then they could go back home and I had my nice little life back. I had accepted that. I really thought I had.

Then I met hubby. Who I never expected would appear in my life, but he did, for which I am eternally grateful. And hubby said he didn't want kids. I wasn't planning on having them anyway, so that didn't seem like a big problem. And it wasn't a big problem. But one day I kind of realized that I was now in that situation I never thought I'd find myself in . Married. And it made having kids seem like an option. Not an option I bought up or anything, because I really was fine with not having kids. Really. Then there was a "close call." And for a few hours, there was a real possibility that there could be a baby. Which got everyone thinking. Obviously the close call amounted to nothing, but the thinking didn't stop. The discussions that followed stopped at Now's Not a Good Time But Maybe Someday. Which, again, was fine. It was.

Then my sister had a baby. And that baby looked kind of like me. And all of a sudden, everything I thought was fine wasn't really fine, but just kind of the facade that was hiding the fact that I sort of think it would be kind of cool to be a mom. So I wound up with a romper and a blanket for my non-existent baby. But the thing is, the more time passes, it looks more and more like we won't be having a baby. So I've been working to come to terms with that. Which is funny to me, since I've already come to terms with not having a baby once in my life already. It seems like it shouldn't be so hard to do the second time around.

I guess what it comes to at this point for me is faith. I have this faith in a power greater than myself. And I believe that power has a plan. I don't know the plan. I don't always like the plan. I don't always understand the plan. I just have to trust the plan. Even though that's very hard to do sometimes. And in this case, if Hubby and I are meant to raise a child, then it will happen. And if we are not meant to raise a child, then it won't. And I'm doing my best to know that is what's best. But I'll hold on to the blanket, just in case.